As you might have noticed, it's been a loooong time since I've updated this blog. Cue the sarcastic, 'No, really?' from the crowd.
If you are wondering what in the world happened to me, the short answer is:
I have been sick, and getting sicker, and no one could figure out why (my daughter's health was in the same state). I think that makes it the third - or maybe fourth? - time this has happened in the last few years.
The long answer?
I have been sick with what I have now discovered is the weirdest freaking thing ever. Okay, maybe not ever, but it's pretty freaking weird. It is both Twisted and yet hilarious...in a twisted kind of way. If you have any friends or family where everyone says 'they're always sick' or 'it's like they're allergic to the whole world,' then read on, because I'm gonna advocate a bit for this thing.
But first, the other important question: but what about the stories?
They will be coming. When? I honestly don't know yet. I'm still working on trying to get things under control enough to write - both in time and health. I always hope days, or weeks, but it's likely going to be a few months. Or more than a few. I will post on twitter, live journal, and here when I put up a new chapter, though.
Now, as to what this weird thing is? It's called a 'Mast Cell Activation Disorder,' MCAD for short. That's not an actual name, as it turns out, because there's been so little research done on these yet that only a few of them have names. The rest get put on a medical version of 'Mast Cells Behaving Badly,' and we know that mine are, but not any more details than that. Turns out my daughter is in the exact same boat, so at least we know that much.
Officially, a person with MCAD has mast cells (the cells that trigger when we have an allergic reaction) that can trigger to any physical, environmental, or emotional stressor.
Which basically means that my mast cells can react to things that are NOT allergens as though they ARE allergens. This leads to some of the weirdest freaking reactions you've ever seen. Aside from a huge variety of foods, I have allergic reactions to the scent in perfumes, shampoos, laundry detergent, aftershave, and cleansers. I'm having allergic reactions to touching ice (including in my mouth) or a hot shower or heat from the oven if it hits me in the face or even the change in temperature from the house to the outdoors. I react to friction over my skin, or pants that are too tight, or the smell of far too many foods.
I'm even having an allergic reaction to natural processes where histamine is released...like standing up. Every morning, I stand up and have an allergic reaction.
I am allergic to mornings. What did I tell you - twisted and hilarious.
Another natural process that releases histamine: strong emotions or stress. Tense scenes in a movie? Triggers an allergic reaction. Dealing with someone who is both a bigot and an idiot? Huge trigger.
Which means I'm also allergic to stupidity now. Awesome.
I should say that I'm lucky. My reactions are not instantly anaphylactic. My cells are slower to release (some MCAD folk's are, some aren't), so if I get away from a trigger and lie down, rest, and take precautions, then I avoid the worst of it. Some folks go into anaphylaxis constantly; I have it SO much easier than that.
But unfortunately, when I trigger, it affects my mind, too. My memory gets spotty, my concentration is blown, and I often feel like I have a full blown case of the flu. It has made writing very difficult, if not impossible. I keep thinking I should be able to write, because I go out so much less now. But my available time doesn't matter all that much when I don't have the ability to remember things like the word for 'chair.'
Or 'dick,' for that matter.
You know you are totally screwed when you can't remember the word 'dick.' Except, I guess, nobody's getting screwed when the author can't remember the word dick, eh? And yes, that really happened. It was sad. I may have had a bit of whiny hysterical moaning over it. And then possibly read Stiles and Derek smutty stories, because as long as someone else is providing the words, I can at least understand it.
I'll have to put up a list of fanfic recs that I've managed to collect on all the days I couldn't write, come to think of it.
Anyway - sorry for the rambling, brain still isn't fully online, yet - I still love to write and plan to get back on it again. I'm just...figuring out how to live with this thing, now that I know what it is. It's taken me this long to remember that I have this blog. I actually forgot for a while. But again, anyway... anyone who wishes to learn more about this, for their own sake or someone they know, please, let me know and I'll share what I've got.
I'm sorry to say that the writing schedule is never going to be as good as it was right in the very beginning, and there will likely always be a bit of uncertainty to updating unless I can get some stories completely written ahead of time (like I've been doing for Husbands for Peace). Because some small, unavoidable things can make this disorder worse. Catching a cold or an insect bite can suddenly make you react to more things, for example, or react worse to the triggers you have, so you can be down and out for weeks afterward.
But I am continuing to move forward and I hope to be able to write again really soon. Probably won't be as soon as I like, or as you might like, but soon-ish. I hope.
Everybody take care, and I hope you had a great, well, year. Congrats to any readers who've had something wonderful happen: a new baby, a new spouse, a new...I dunno, puppy or kitten or ferret. New recipe. New experience. I just hope some wonderful things have happened to all of you this last year.